Statement from Cadets Director, Denise Bonfiglio

For the past several months, I have spent a considerable amount of time creating and establishing the new Cadets Arts and Entertainment Organization. When I look back where it all started for The Cadets, the year was 1934, during the great depression! Eighty-Six years later, the global economy may likely suffer the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The political, economic, and social unrest that we face daily is unprecedented. Navigating a new organization during a Pandemic with a canceled drum corps season has been one of the most significant challenges we have faced. We are in unprecedented times, and I have a great village around me to help lead this 86-year-old organization.

I have made considerable changes to the culture at The Cadets, but there is still much work to be done. We can do more to become allies and institute changes that will create a Cadets organization that is more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist.

A critical first step to achieve this goal is the creation of the Equality and Inclusion Committee. The Committee will represent a diverse cross-section of the organization to include persons of all races, religions, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and any other relevant distinction as determined by the Committee.

Approved by the Board of Directors on June 28, 2020, The Committee will be chaired by Vicki Ferrence Ray, Cadets Arts and Entertainment Compliance Officer, and Co-Chaired by Darcie Aungst, Cadets Artistic Director. The first meeting of the Committee will be July 19 at 8 pm EST.

The Equality and Inclusion Committee is responsible for learning from a diverse group of members, developing an education plan, reviewing existing policies, and educating the entire organization on issues of race, discrimination, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, social justice, and other topics deemed relevant by the Committee. The Committee will set objectives and timelines to become a more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist organization at all levels of operations, with the goal of equality for all.


Director and CEO
Cadets Arts and Entertainment, Inc.